Freeman Region

Manjuyod town back to normal after gov't-NPA

Juancho R. Gallarde - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The situation in Manjuyod town in Negros Oriental is now peaceful following an encounter Monday afternoon between government troops and communist terrorists at the town's sitio Basakan in Barangay Pansiao.

Mayor Felix Sy immediately convened the Municipal Peace and Order Council with the presence of soldiers from the 15th Infantry Battalion who clashed with the NPA rebels in a 5-minute firefight. Troops from the 62nd Infantry Battalion were also in the meeting to help in the assessment of the situation.

Senior Inspector Antonio Jabar, chief of the Manjuyod Police, said the situation in Pansiao is back to normal with additional troops, specifically the Alpha Company of the 15th IB, deployed to the barangay, where 350 people were evacuated at the height of the firefight, and sheltered at an elementary school in Bagtic.

Jabar confirmed that the 12 evacuated families in that sitio are now with their relatives and friends in the lowlands but their respective heads of family, including sons of legal age, have returned to their houses to tend to their farm animals.

The commander of the 15th IB has requested the “bakwits” to go back to their respective houses because the area is already secured and that a community support program is being conducted in the area for the benefit of the residents, said Jabar.

Meanwhile, a candle lighting activity is scheduled at 6 p.m. yesterday at the covered court of Pansiao, in connection with the killing of its Barangay Chairman Mario Gonzales, whose interment was scheduled today, September 8.

A peace rally is expected during the interment of the slain village chief, according to a press release from the Civil Military Office of the 62nd IB.

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